Terraforming Mars: The Dice Game

Good news Terraforming Mars fans! There is a dice version of the popular game coming out some time in 2021, here's what we know so far.

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Terraforming Mars the Dice Game

Posted on April 1st, 2020 by Jay
Card Drafting Dice Rolling Set Collection Terraforming Mars Variable Player Powers Sci-Fi
Terraforming Mars the Dice Game

In the 2400s, mankind begins to terraform the planet Mars. Giant corporations, sponsored by the World Government on Earth, initiate huge projects to raise the temperature, the oxygen level, and the ocean coverage until the environment is habitable. In Terraforming Mars, you play one of those corporations and work together in the terraforming process, but compete for getting victory points that are awarded not only for your contribution to the terraforming, but also for advancing human infrastructure throughout the solar system, and doing other commendable things.

This is the Dice version of Terraforming Mars by Jacob Fryxelius.

That was the description from Fryxgames regarding this. Sounds about right. So what do we know about mechanics and gameplay?

Obviously, the game will revolve around throwing dice, of which there are 5 different ones;

  • The green die, called the "bio" die, will have plants (3), microbes (2), and animals (1) on it.
  • The yellow die deals with money (3) and science (2) and another resource (1).
  • The red die will have heat (3), space events (2), and another (1) resource on them.
  • The blue die will represent water (3), electricity (2) and oxygen (1).
  • Finally, there's a grey die which will have steel (3), titanium (2), and cities (1) on it.

The number within parenthesis are the number of sides with the symbol in question. Since there's supposed to be 3 different resources on each dice perhaps someone could enlighten us of the missing resource on the yellow and red dice? Maybe a Jovian on the red one and Earth of the yellow one? 

You will still be terraforming the planet, as in raise temperature, oxygen levels, and get the water flowing on the red planet. Furthermore, Jonathan from Fryxgames says this game will be Terraforming Mars light, and gameplay should be around 60 minutes. There will be a lot of cards, with the artwork and feel of the original game.
Players will still have their own corporation with unique abilities and will start with 5 cards.

During the game, players will take turns being the starting player, much like Terraforming Mars. The players will take dice according to their production and add it to their pool. If a die of a certain color is depleted, players may choose a die from any other color. When everyone has their dice they roll them and either buy cards with their dice, perform actions on cards, purchase new cards, or take standard actions:

  • Trade 2 red heat symbols dice to raise the temperature.
  • Trade 3 plant dice to place plants on the map.
  • Trade 2 blue water dice to place water.
  • Trade 2 blue oxygen dice to raise the oxygen level.
  • Trade 3 metal city dice to build a city.
  • Trade 1 yellow science dice to draw a card.
  • Trade 4 yellow money dice to place a city, greenery, water, or raise the temperature.
  • Trade 1 dice to turn another dice in your collection to a side of your choice.
  • Freeze a dice on your corporation, to be used in later rounds.
  • Trade 1 card for 1 dice of your choice.
Terraforming Mars the Dice Game prototype components.
Here's an image of TM the Dice Game prototype components. Note that you can spot the different standard actions stated above.

Each round ends when any player runs out of dice, and when that happens all other players may perform a final turn. The starting player rotates and the next round begins.

As players do not have any own cubes to place on the map, map-related scoring is immediate. Cities and water scores 2 points, plants 1 point for each adjacent city, and 1 point for raising the oxygen level. Also, players place dice instead of chits.

Like the original, the game ends with temperature, oxygen has reached the threshold, and when all the oceans are placed. 

That's it for now, we will keep our eyes open for a rule book or the like, feel free to comment below. :)